Traffic Calming Studies for Dunvegan Drive, Margaret Avenue and Woolwich Street

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The City of Waterloo is doing traffic calming studies for three neighbourhoods: Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail. Traffic calming is a series of measures a city can implement to ease traffic concerns. This can be done through physical changes, like signs and road markings, and by encouraging behaviour change through education and enforcement.

Requests from residents for traffic calming on the three identified streets were made under the Traffic Calming Policy that was adopted by Council as part

The City of Waterloo is doing traffic calming studies for three neighbourhoods: Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail. Traffic calming is a series of measures a city can implement to ease traffic concerns. This can be done through physical changes, like signs and road markings, and by encouraging behaviour change through education and enforcement.

Requests from residents for traffic calming on the three identified streets were made under the Traffic Calming Policy that was adopted by Council as part of the Transportation Master Plan in April 2011. Under the policy, once a request has been made, staff complete a two-part screening investigation to determine if a study is warranted. As a result of the screening, Dunvegan Drive between Lexington Road and Sandowne Drive, Margaret Avenue between Lincoln Road and Bridgeport Road East and Woolwich Street between University Avenue East and Bridle Trail all meet the warrant criteria to move forward to a traffic calming study.

Project Process

The consulting team assessed current conditions in each neighbourhood and prepared a draft traffic calming plan with measures to address neighbourhood traffic issues. The final traffic calming plans will also be informed by conversations and input from residents. The project outcome will be a Traffic Calming Study Report, recommending traffic calming plans specific to each neighbourhood. These recommendations were brought before Council and approved on June 14, 2021.

Get Involved

Public input is essential to the success of the project. We are seeking input to understand current road conditions on your neighbourhood streets and what traffic calming measures make sense for your neighbourhood. Public engagement over the course of the project will include a public survey and online public information centre.

Prior to releasing the proposed traffic calming plans to the public, the plans were circulated to City stakeholders (Waterloo Fire Rescue, Regional EMS, Waterloo Regional Police Services, Grand River Transit, etc.). These groups were able to review and comment on the plans, and their feedback was incorporated.

As part of the feedback on this plan, additional support and requests were made to include Braemore Avenue, Bluevale Street and Mayfield Avenue. These streets will be part of the monitoring and phase two evaluations once the initial study area traffic calming measures have been installed.

Comments

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I don't agree with the speed humps that are being proposed on Dunvegan and Sandowne. The number of speed humps that is being proposed also seems extremely excessive. I have a low car and it may be damaged going over the speed humps even at a slow speed. This will also make it more difficult for emergency vehicles to get through the neighborhood, as well as snow ploughs. Other measures may be more appropriate such as: stop signs at all intersections, speed limit enforcement, narrowing sections of the roadways. Also, parking should not be allowed on the inside of the curve at Dunvegan Park because the parking there extremely reduces visibility.

JessC 4 months ago

Does no one think 8 speed bumps are excessive on Dunvegan?! Combined with raise intersections also...

KevinC 4 months ago

I'm very surprised that the proposed 'traffic calming' plan along Woolwich St does not include a reduction of the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h. Not only is it the street with the highest 85th percentile speed (68 km/h), but it now has a large number of homes, sidewalks, and a multiuse trail very close the live traffic lanes.

The report identifies that speeding is the main concern along Woolwich, which is correct. However, it should not only be looked at relative to the speed limit, but at the total speed vs pedestrians as well. The City's own traffic calming policy states in section 2.1.1 that a reduction of speed from 65 km/h to 50 km/h improves the chance of survival of someone being hit from 15% to 50%. Why then, is the easiest fix to total speed (a reduction of the speed limit), not being implemented?

Grant 4 months ago

I live across the park on Dunvegan and see the speeding up of vehicles everyday as the go into the curve or come out of it. To back out of my driveway is challenging because to gage the speed someone is doing is hard. Also the parking situation is terrible, we have groups of 20 cars show up and use the parks basketball basketball basketball area and tennis as
Lso. The reduce the street to a tunnel by parking on both sides of the STREET. ALSO park in front of the fire hydrated all the time as well.

Gabriele 4 months ago

As a person who uses a bicycle as a primary means of transportation - transit is second, taxi is third, renting a car is fourth - I have zero sympathy for anyone operating a motor vehicle who complains that "traffic calming" measures are "inconvenient". I'm just trying to get home, like you. You are concerned about slowing down a bit - taking a few extra seconds - and avoiding "obstacles". I am trying to avoid a trip to the hospital. Or the morgue. Until the safety of vulnerable road users is prioritized over the "convenience" of licensed drivers executing their privilege of operating a large motor vehicle (and yes, your smart car is still "large", to a person on a bicycle) there will be no peace between us. As long as people driving cars are self-righteous in their desire for "rights" I will be following the letter of the law, in front of you. It is the best defence that I have. Until the threat of injury or death is equal, there is no equality. I do not "share" the road. I use it at my own - legally required and enforced! - risk.

Peter Lehman 4 months ago

(Yup, this is long. Yes, I have an opinion.)

I have only browsed the reports. I use a bicycle as my primary means of transportation and ride regularly on all of the streets in the three study areas. I have written extensively both on social media and in newspaper letters as well as to my government representatives at all levels of government advocating for safe bicycle infrastructure. Safe also means efficient, because if it is not efficient it will not be used.

My 15 year old (y.o.) daughter also rides these streets regularly, as does her 15 y.o. boyfriend and my 13 y.o. son. My wife only rides occasionally.

My concern is simple: Is this the absolute BEST we can do to make these roadways SAFER for vulnerable road users, or are we still making the excuse "but cars". PH-last-three-letters-of-migratory-water-fowl the cars. These are residential streets. (Yes, even Woolwich.) My son and I rode our bicycles from Waterloo to Manitoulin Island - and back - in 2019. Yes, he was 11. His opinion? "If it does not have a concrete barrier, it is not a bicycle lane." Oddly, I agree with him.

Does the infrastructure respect each user independently? Is it AAA (All Ages and Abilities - Google it) safe? If not, then it is simply not good enough. Is pedestrian and cyclist safety clearly prioritized by the physical infrastructure? (E.G. making roadways rise up and over sidewalks which continue uninterrupted when they encounter an asphalt surface intended for cars to be driven on?) If not, why not? No, really, why not? And again, why not?!? Are we really okay with those answers?!?

Make it safe. Do it now. No more excuses.

Any incident of a pedestrian or a person riding a bicycle getting hit by a motorized vehicle requiring a licence and insurance for operation automatically becomes the fault of the person operating the motor vehicle. Full stop.

Furthermore, make the people responsible for designing the infrastructure - yes, this means you! - responsible for injuries that are preventable by better infrastructure. Paint on the pavement is a pathetic attempt to provide people safety. (I ride wearing bright colours and with a 70 cm rod with orange ribbons and a red reflector attached to it bungee corded to my rear rack and protruding out into the lane beside me - I am legally allotted 100 cm of space - and yet I had difficulty negotiating the temporary bike lanes established last summer. A bike lane of less than 1.5 m - in each direction! - is too narrow for safe cycling.)

Additionally, at all "T" intersections, provide a barricade such that people on bicycles can clearly continue straight through the intersection without stopping - a.k.a. the "Florida T" - but also include signage that allows for the "Idaho" stop - people driving cars must come to a complete stop at a stop sign but people on bicycles must yield, and at traffic lights cars must stop and wait but people on bicycles merely stop and then may continue through if it is safe to do so. Hint: If they get hit, it was not safe. Trust us. We'll be careful.

Every injured or dead cyclist is the responsibility of poor infrastructure and poor legislation. Period. Why? Because people respond to the infrastructure in predictable ways. Well designed infrastructure controls people's behaviour. It's an indisputable fact.

Lastly, look at the stats. Compare our stats to other countries with only a single factor: Infrastructure. Hint, again, countries with fewer injuries and deaths per unit of travel by bicycle do not require cyclists to wear helmets. Why? Because the reason that cyclists wear helmets is so that people driving cars feel more comfortable driving too close and have feel comfortable in their arrogance and self-righteousness when a cyclist dies but "was not wearing a helmet". Helmets are intended to prevent injuries when people on bicycles get hit. By CARS!! I regularly hit 50 km/h going downhill on University going over the bridge over the expressway. Go ahead and try to convince yourself that a helmet is going to make a skin cell of difference when I plow into the side of someone making a left turn in front of me. I refuse to wear a helmet in the hope that it attracts attention and that the driver therefore gives me a WIDER berth! But the rod helps too. Wouldn't want to get a scratch on the precious paint, but my skin and blood is expendable. (And people wonder why I am angry.)

(Hoping you read this before I get killed. I need to go for a ride to run an errand today.)

Peter Lehman 4 months ago

We live on Carriage Way, just off Woolwich St.
While speeding is an issue on Woolwich St, my concern and suggestion is more about the corner of Woolwich St. and Bridge St.
When a driver is coming down the hill on Woolwich St. and stops at the corner of Bridge St, the church at right, there is a very poor visibility to the right, could not see if there is a vehicle coming or not, if it is safe to proceed with going straight or turning left.
An installation of a big TRAFFIC MIRROR on the opposite side could give a great view of the blind corner.
This would be an inexpensive way to avoid more accidents in the future.
Thank you,
A.G.

A.G. 4 months ago

I live very close to Margaret Ave and very much enjoy walking, biking, and driving along it as the twisting nature of the road's lines around on street parking helps keeps drivers focused and slows them down.

nokel81 5 months ago

I live on Woolwich between Bridge and Bridal trail.
Our road has seen an increase of traffic over the years, loss of sidewalks to develop more condos and “widen the road”. I have seen multiple notices over the years saying that changes were coming to make things safe but nothing ever comes of it and the road keeps getting pushed back.
There is nothing in place to make the street safe for children and people in the area. Even the bus stop for schoolarea @ Hillcrest, that lacks sidewalk safety and my own children have had close calls with Vehicles sliding at that intersection off the road. Over the course of Covid we have seen multiple vehicles up off the road in peoples driveways, crossing section of side walk!
This strip of Woolwich street is very dangerous with traffic moving at very fast speeds and unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. Both intersection at Bridle Trail and that bridge need some serious help before there are more accidents injuries and deaths. The crossing Guard at bridge, risks his life every day for the students. (We were told years ago he was getting an island) This intersection/crosswalk doesn’t have proper curb and sidewalk ratio as well (this happened when they removed sidewalk from one side of the street, put it on the other and forgot about the students and Pedestrians in the planning). I realize that that is Kitchener and we are discussing Waterloo but the section of the road deals with kitchener, Waterloo and the region.
The intersection at Woolwich street and Bridle Trail is also very dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists traffic. At one point the region of Waterloo showed us plans of putting traffic lights in there when the left-hand turning lane was going to be installed I’m sure I have the letter and the documentation it was about 15 years ago. I remember visiting the region of Waterloo to look at the plans. Never happened and the street and subdivisions continue to get built up which has increased traffic flow. City of Kitchener said we could have another traffic study done.
We are in need to have some serious traffic calming on this section of Woolwich St and revisit what parking looks like on the street as well. It is so dangerous for children and families using this area and it’s only a matter of time before there is an accident that cost someone their life or a child, cyclist is hit.
Over the course of that time that we’ve lived here I’ve reached out to the city of Kitchener multiple times regarding traffic calming/speed/safety. I really hope that the city of Kitchener and a city or Waterloo or collaborating in their efforts along with the region where Bridge Street is concerned. I almost have nothing left but hoping that this communication things will get done and promises/planning kept.
I am excited that the city of Waterloo has this intersection up for review and hopefully we can make the changes so that everyone in the community can stay safe. Thank you for this forum of communication.
(Also thank you city of Waterloo for starting to clear the snow at this corner as well, took a few years but I thinks it’s on the rotation now. Hopefully it will stay there for years to come. Thanks!)

LizS 5 months ago

We live on Woolwich Street, just up the hill from the new left hand turn lane. I agree with the other comments. This road continues to be busier all the time and often appears as a drag strip. Autos do not
slow down as they round the corner. It is quite dangerous when crossing the street as a pedestrian. A stop sign generally implies "stop," most will come to a rolling slow down. Making a left turn around the island at the stop sign is difficult as the cars often do not slow down travelling up Woolwich. This can be very hazardous in winter or in any other adverse weather conditions. I would like to see a 3 way stop.
Regardless, some adjustments have to be done.

MarilynP 5 months ago

I live on Dunvegan not far from Lexington. Dunvegan is definitely a short cut for many people to get to University Ave. It includes a pedestrian entrance to one park which is not a big deal but it passes beside a large park with playground equipment and basketball court/ice rink. There are often a lot of kids and parents getting in and out of cars and crossing the street there; visibility is reduced by the curve in the road. If nothing else is done I think there should be speed bumps on that section of the street at least. Since inconsiderate drivers are likely to accelerate after the bumps (you know, to make up for the 15 seconds they "lost", in their hurry to get to the STOP sign at the end of the street) a few well placed bumps in other sections of the street may be necessary.

I saw a comment mentioning the speed of buses as well as cars. Riding the bus I know that in fact they are not speeding although it may seem so from outside since they are large 'n' loud. Since parking is allowed on both sides of the street though, if someone ran out between cars, even at a modest speed a bus would do more damage than a car. And kids (and adults, sometimes) are careless; I recall, many years ago, hearing a screech of brakes and looked up the street to see that a young kid on a bike had not looked each way before riding across the street. A distraught young woman had been driving and the kid and bike hit her passenger side fender, the side of the car. There was no significant injury and a passerby called the boy's parents. If he had hit the road a half second sooner or she was driving a tiny bit faster the front of the car would have hit the boy. So I feel any slowing will be helpful not only to making the street safer but making it feel safer too.

There is only so much control measures can do. No driver wants to be "that" one, the one who hits a pedestrian, a child, a pet. But none of us is perfect so intervention may be needed. An anecdote about a Dunvegan driver. Last Fall, walking on the road with a cart full of groceries and beside the boulevard (facing oncoming traffic) to increase social distancing from on coming pedestrians , a driver in a full sized black pickup truck was driving towards me. There is no other traffic at all. I meet his eyes to make sure we see each other, as I would at an intersection. He swerves his truck. Towards me. So yeah, that is the kind of driver we sometimes have on Dunvegan Drive.
Derek M.

Derek Madge 5 months ago

1. As a driver, I didn’t like the slow street idea on Marshall at all. I do think the all way stop at Carter slowed traffic nicely. I hope putting up bollards is not pursued again.
2. I like the electronic “your speed” signs. Good reminders to speeders to slow down.
3. I think both Margaret and Ellis between Lincoln and Bridgeport are used by many as cut through sections and people go too fast there. As a pedestrian, it’s often unsafe to cross these streets because of the curves which make it difficult to see cars coming around the bend until one is already in the middle of the road. I hope no more All way stops are put In, though. Maybe speed bumps would help, but I realize it would hinder snow removal efficiency.

Hubert 5 months ago

We live on Sunbridge Cres and are happy to see traffic calming along Woolwich is being addressed. The speed in which people travel along Woolwich between Macville Ave and the roundabout at Carriage Way is very excessive. Drivers tend to pick up speed coming down the hill before Sunbridge Cres and don't slow down until they get to the round about at Carriage Way (and many times not even slowing down at the round about, making crossing at the roundabout as a pedestrian very dangerous).

Sunbridge Cres. 5 months ago

I have lived on Woolwich st now approx 18 years.Since the recent construction 5 or 6 years ago this street has become a constant Drag Strip at all hours of the day in both directions.So much so that while sitting in the house you can hear the vehicles come to a squealing and screeching stop at the stop signs at both ends of the street.WE are about mid way on the street and while trying to back out of the driveway,it has become increasingly more risky.If you look to the top of the hill towards Bridle Trail there will be no traffic in sight and as you proceed to back on to the street there is suddenly a vehicle laying on his horn at a horrendous amount of speed trying to go around you.
Also within the last year on three separate occasions while driving up Woolwich towards Bridal trail approaching my home with the left turn signal on to turn into my driveway some radical driver pulls out and passes me on the left. Luckily I had checked my mirror before making the turn or it would have been a very serious accident.
I have no doubt in my mind that there should be some serious countermeasures taken towards the speeds and the safety on Woolwich St, It appears to be getting progressively worse day by day and I seriously hope that measures will be taken very soon.

drag strip 5 months ago

My family and I live in the Dunvegan/Sandowne area, and I agree with what others have said about Dunvegan being used as a shortcut to the expressway. Many cars drive far faster than they should, especially past the park. A speed bump (with an integrated pedestrian crossing) would be great at the bend near the park, to correspond with the path, and the number of pedestrians that cross here to use the park. Further raised crossings could be considered at Sandowne, Lee, and Grangewood to make this a much safer and more pedestrian friendly street.

Joseph B 5 months ago

I live in the Lincoln road area. I walk my dog and baby twice a day and I don’t even bother trying to cross Margaret at Vermont or Washington anymore. Cars fly over that hill and we’ve had a couple close calls.
This Neighbourhood has three elementary schools in this area and I don’t think enough is being done to make it safe for children who walk and have to cross Ellis, Margret or parts of Mayfield. Traffic calming, or a stop sign/crosswalk should be in place on each street, in my opinion. I see zero negative effects it could possibly have

Jessikaszp 5 months ago

My family lives on Margaret Avenue near the corner of Lincoln and Margaret. In September, our 4 year old daughter was hit by a car in front of our house on Margaret Ave. Miraculously, she recovered from skull fractures and a sever concussion with only one other minor fracture. Thankfully she should not have any long term health issues. She (and we) are so lucky, it could've been so much worse.

I am familiar with the neighbourhood. My family grew up here and lived in the neighbourhood for the majority of my childhood. Margaret and Lincoln have always been utilized as through streets by most people. Speed is definitely a concern but not always the main issue. Street parking is a problem along with people just not paying attention. We cannot have people parking on both sides of the street. There should also be a consideration for no parking signs being installed on the downhill section of the streets. I have witnessed multiple accidents where cars are parking on the down hill (east) side of Margaret. There was a car parked on the east side of Margaret when our daughter was hit and we feel that the car parked on that side of the road was instrumental in the accident involving her. Speed wasn't deemed a factor in the incident, however, I see people flying down the street and alot of people flying up the street from Lincoln (revving their engines) to get up the hill. There is also a major issue at Margaret and Washington. The people turning onto Margaret from Washington cannot see what's coming up the hill. Often times you hear cars flying up the hill with loud engines. I am surprised that there hasn't been a major collision at Washington and Margaret (maybe there has that I'm not aware of).
Something desperately needs to be done in the neighbourhood. There CANNOT be another incident where a child or cyclist is struck by a vehicle or a head on collision happening. Residential streets should be a 40km/hour speed limit at all times, maybe even 30. Get to Erb or Bridgeport, University or Weber and then go 60km/hr. Just look at what they did on Glasgow Street in Kitchener, west of Westmount. That calming works. This is a nice neighbourhood and it deserves some attention.
Thank you for this initiatve, it is refreshing to see this.
Greg

Greg J 5 months ago

Margaret Ave. N. - I think traffic calming could be helpful on Margaret Ave N., people drive fast, and it is extremeley hilly and a bit curvey, so there are tons of blind spots, which presents danger for pedistrians, kids, etc. There are many areas I know that have issues, and I understand fixing these issues costs money, and maybe not enough people in the area believe this is enough of an issue to put money in. I just think that we could prevent more possible incidents if we did something for this stretch of Maragret Ave. Just a thought. Thanks.

Dad 5 months ago

My family lives on Lincoln rd between Margaret Ave & Marshall st ( Waterloo) the speed of traffic on this street has increased significantly over the years. I often witness close calls at lincoln/ Marshall. I'm hoping this study can find ways to slow down the traffic along Lincoln rd.

Alexelgin 5 months ago

My family lives on the corner of Bridgeport and Margaret. We knew when we moved here it was going to be a very busy road, however, over the past five years the traffic and speed has increased significantly. Our main concern is the speed (as some drivers seem to think they are on a race track and at times I have seen them weave in and out between cars). Last week there was an accident on the corner of Bridgeport and Bluevale. One car was flipped on it's roof! I am not sure if this was a case of speed but it was very scary to come upon that accident. As far as Margaret Ave, I have witnessed vehicles speeding up to make the green light, cars accelerating to go up the hill and... those mufflers need some work as the noise is massive! All I know is, that If there is going to be a park on the corner of Bridgeport/Margaret/Neilson, then something has to be done!

I believe more police presence would be a benefit but I do understand that can't be a constant and everyday practice. Speed bumps do not seem to make a difference on Margaret Ave. I am not even sure if more signs would work, as signage for Bridgeport (one way) does not seem to be effective. Several times a week, drivers try to make their way up Bridgeport Rd.
My hope is that solutions can be made, our input is heard and everyone can live in a safer neighborhood.
All the best.

TTaylor 5 months ago